The Illegal Wiretaps, Jesus, What You Have Done?

The Illegal Wiretaps, Jesus, What You Have Done?

My first and only question for this album is whether or not the title is said in an offhand manner to someone at random or if it’s a direct question to the son of God.

In either case, The Illegal Wiretaps are back with a vengeance. Of these ten songs, the band explores through three different styles; okay, really, it’s more like two and a half.

Some of these songs are simply electronic without vocals, but they have enough complexity to them to stand out on their own as something other than background filler noise. At times, it can feel like the instrumental songs are singing more than the few songs on here that actually have vocals.

There also exists a type of song (done a couple of times) where it’s that electronic instrumental sound, but there’s a female voice talking over it, such as a sound clip maybe. The one very important thing that you must remember about the instrumental songs is simply that they are not just to be thought of as bridges between the songs with vocals. They’re a very real part of this album and perhaps even more important than the songs with vocals, since they seem to outnumber them.

Now, some of these songs do have actual words being sung in a way that makes them sound like an actual band, but it’s still different from what I’m used to from The Illegal Wiretaps. The vocals still remind me of Joy Division. but the accompanying music no longer does. In fact, on a song such as “Next Time,” the music that goes with the words sounds a lot like the musical equivalent of a tree being sawed down. (Which, surprisingly, sounds a lot better than you’d probably imagine.)

I will admit to being a fan of The illegal Wiretaps. I own the majority of their back catalog, and even though it can vary from song to song, I still find it all to be exceptionally well done. If you’ve never heard them before, this is the best place for you to start, as it gives you a good overall idea of their sound. You need to own “Jesus, What You Have Done?” — and then, after that, everything else they have ever recorded.

[The Illegal Wiretaps are playing 5/25/12 at Bohemeo’s, and then 6/4/12 at Notsuoh.]
(self-released; The Illegal Wiretaps -- http://www.theillegalwiretaps.blogspot.com/; The Illegal Wiretaps (Facebook) -- http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Illegal-Wiretaps/107033322717433)
BUY ME: Bandcamp

Review by . Review posted Monday, May 7th, 2012. Filed under Features, Reviews.

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3 Responses to “The Illegal Wiretaps, Jesus, What You Have Done?

  1. SPACE CITY ROCK » Yr. (Belated) Weekend: The Suffers B-Day + Beer Fest + The Illegal Wiretaps + Mama Tried + Holder + Peloton + More on June 9th, 2012 at 2:33 pm

    […] got a review up of that one, btw, right over here, and there’re more on their […]

  2. Henry on July 31st, 2012 at 1:58 am

    When I first looked at the best album category and saw these guys on the list, I thought, “Who?”. Being a big fan of Alkari and Bang Bangz, I thought those were the second and third best releases. The first best, of course, was Buxton’s new album. So I thought. I went to Bandcamp and heard “Jesus, What Have You Done?” and this time thought, “Wow!”. This is one of the most interesting albums I have ever heard from any Houston band. That switch from Kraftwerk dance tune to folk weirdness caught me off-guard. Although they won’t win, they made the best local album I’ve heard this year–and, yes, including The Buxton’s new album.

  3. SPACE CITY ROCK » Yr. Weekend, Pt. 2: !Yes Indeed! Fest + American Sharks + Illegal Wiretaps + Wine Fest + Touche Amore + More on September 29th, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    […] and mesmerizing (check out the review of their most recent, Jesus, What Have You Done?, over here) — and I dig folky singer-songwriter Clory Martin, as well, having heard her quite a bit […]

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